Windows Vista using up too much space

Posted on 2010-01-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I have Windows Vista Home Premium installed on my Acer Aspire 5102WLMi since about May/2007. I've never formatted the HDD, but I have no problems with it, so formatting it is out of question.

After so much time with the same installation and many updates, Windows now is using about 60% of my C: partition -- as per image attached.

Opening the C:\WINDOWS directory, C:\WINDOWS\WINSXS\ is using about 50% of those 60%. That means 30% of my C: partition is used by this WINSXS directory. The top 3 directories under C:\WINDOWS use about 50% of all my C: partition.

As you can see, Windows only is leaving me only 40% of the primary partition to be used. It wasn't like that until about 1 year ago. I had plenty space to use.

I have once ran a command that deleted all the backups made by Windows Update. That was meant to make all updates "glued" to Vista, which means the updates can't be undone. I have also decreased the shadow copy space (even though there isn't shadow copy available in Windows Vista Home Premium).

Is there any other way I can make Windows Vista use less space, other than removing my programs? I have already removed a lot of software and now I have only the really necessary ones.
Question by:martinewski
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    I would guess that system restore could be taking up some of the space. Reduce the percentage of the drive that system restore can use, or turn off system restore.
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    As you can see, there isn't much space used by System Restore. I have already downsized it.

    C:\Windows\system32>vssadmin list shadowstorage
    vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
    (C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.
    Shadow Copy Storage association
       For volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{cbea9021-0bca-11dc-a484-806e6f6e6963}\
       Shadow Copy Storage volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{cbea9021-0bca-11dc-a484-806e6f6e69
       Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 303.484 MB
       Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 600 MB
       Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 1 GB

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    LVL 22

    Expert Comment


    From the article above

    There have been several blogs and even some underground tools that tell you its ok to delete the WinSxS directory, and its certainly true that after installation, you can remove it from the system and it will appear that the system boots and runs fine. But as described above, this is a very bad practice, as youre removing the ability to reliably service, all operating system components and the ability to update or configure optional components on your system. Windows Vista only supports the WinSxS directory on the physical drive in its originally installed location. The risks far outweigh the gains removing it or relocating it from the system, given the data described above.
    Use vsp1cln.exe to clean up after Windows Vista SP1
    One method that does seem to work is removing the redundant files left over after installing Windows Vista SP1. Thankfully, Microsoft provides the Windows Vista SP1 Files Removal Tool (vsp1cln.exe), which does just that. The tool is automatically installed as part of the SP1 upgrade, and you can find it at \%windir%\system32\vsp1cln.exe. I describe how to use the vsp1cln.exe in the TR Dojo video, Remove all remnants of the Windows Vista SP1 installation files. Just make sure youre sticking with SP1 before running the tool, as you cant remove SP1 afterwards
    LVL 40

    Expert Comment

    by:Jackie Man
    Do NOT turn off system restore, you will never know when you will need it when you ran into a problem which can only be fixed by going back to a previous system restore point.
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    It is normal for Vista to use 18.00 GB, I don't see anything wrong with it.

    Don't look at it in terms of percentage! You have a very small Partition (or maybe drive size) & you are comparing that with the OS using disk space. If you had a 90Gb  Partition then it would have been 20% & it would have been alright with you.

    Look up for any large files in the Users folder (douments, pictures, etc) & you will find out what is taking up the space in that folder.

    Donwload JDisk report tool from You will need
    java for it. also see my articles here-


    LVL 14

    Assisted Solution

    It's likely to keep growing:

    But as the author (J Conway) points out: "Service Pack 1 contains a binary called VSP1CLN.EXE, a tool that will make the Service Pack package permanent (not removable) on your system,  and remove the RTM versions of all superseded components." So if you're happy with service pack 1, then run VSP1CLN.exe, which will reduce the size of the winsxs folder, but make SP1 non-removable.

    Most Acers I've seen are usually partitioned. They appear as C (for the OS) and D (for the data), perhaps you need to make better use of your D drive. It's likely that you've got an 80Gb drive split 50/50 between the C & D drives. If your C: drive is filling up; how much space do you have on your D: drive?

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